Don’t be that one co-worker. You know the one, the one no one likes. Probably because they make everyone else’s job a pain in the ass. Missing deadlines. Ignoring e-mails. Only talk to you when they want something from you. Not saying what they mean. Running over everyone. You know the type.
When their name shows up on the phone, or their knuckles knock on your cube, you want to shrink up and hide, and pretend there’s a ‘no body’s home sign’ up. They start earning nicknames like Never Helpful Ned, Always Late Ally, F!ck Face Frank, Unresponsive Rita, Untimely Tim, Hurricane Harry, etc., etc.
No body’s got time for a shitty co-worker.
While I know I’m not a perfect co-worker, it’s still easy to not be a shitty co-worker, and here’s how:
Follow through on your shit.
If you make a commitment of having X,Y,Z done by a certain date and time, follow through on your shit. Every commitment you fail to do effects your co-workers and their other commitments, as well as the quality of their work. So if you make a promise- Honor it.
Or at the very least, be polite and give a head’s up that you’re going to be late – and do it more than 15 minutes before its due. Because funnily enough, you’re not the only one who’s busy and has deadlines. As co-workers, you should help each other out as much as possible.
If someone has a question or needs work from you, be responsive and give them a timely answer. Within twenty-four hours is a good time frame to get back to someone, even if just to say ‘I’ll look at this later’ – at least you’re letting that person know, and then they don’t follow up with the double e-mail, phone call, and visit to your desk. It’s wasteful time for someone to hunt you down for a response. So, respond, they’ll have their answer, and leave you alone to your work.
After all, if you can’t respond to your co-workers, how do you respond to your clients and vendors?
Your co-workers can’t read your mind, so be a pal and communicate with them about what exactly you want and need. Making it clear will relieve headaches from both parties, and get you what you want. It’s time-saving to communicate and get it right the first time than having to re-explain yourself 10 times to get what you want and in a timely fashion.
Communication also makes sure things stay on track. If everyone knows what’s going on, then nobody should be confused.
Be a Team Player.
You work for a company, filled with co-workers. If you’re only there for yourself and to protect yourself, you’re doing it wrong. Working for a company means working for a team and lending a helping hand when needed and not bailing when the team needs you most.
The phrase ‘you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’ is popular (and true) for a reason. Be a team player, and they’ll have your back, too, when you need it. And it’s just plain nice.
Don’t throw people under the bus.
It’s easy to blame, but don’t throw people under the bus. After someone gets run over a few too many times, they’re not going to keep taking your shit or enjoy working with you. While co-workers aren’t your friends and you don’t have to like them, and it is business after all, but throwing someone under the bus isn’t going to solve whatever issue is at hand.
Try talking to the person first, and attempt to come up with a solution. Or you might find that person coming driving up with a monster truck.
(Hell, they might even write an article about you.)